NEW YORK (JTA) — The New York University chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine has said it is receiving an award from the US university.
Earlier this month, the group posted a photo on Facebook of an email saying it would receive the 2019 award “for your exemplary contributions to the NYU community.”
The awards “are given to students or student organizations that have had an extraordinary and positive impact on the University community,” according to the NYU website and are to be given at an awards ceremony on Wednesday.
NYU would not confirm that the pro-Palestinian group was receiving the award. Gabriella Sanes, program administrator at the Office of the Senior Vice President for Student Affairs, referred the Jewish Telegraphic Agency to university spokesman John Beckman.
Beckman would not confirm whether SJP is receiving the award. Instead he sent a statement that said that more than 150 clubs and individuals receive the awards annually and that “recipients are selected by a group of volunteer staffers and a student representative.”
SJP’s claim drew the ire of Judea Pearl, a prominent Israeli-American computer scientist, who sent a letter to the university’s president, Andrew Hamilton, renouncing his 2013 Distinguished Alumnus Award. In a statement, Pearl said his decision to renounce the award “is in response the university’s honoring of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) with a Presidential Service award” and called the student group “one of the nation’s leading voices delegitimizing and demonizing Israel.”
SJP chapters across the country promote the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel on college campuses. The Anti-Defamation League says that chapters “regularly demonize Jewish students who identify as Zionists or proud supporters of the State of Israel.”